TONIGHT’S THE NIGHT...One point separates the Dubuque Fighting Saints and the Muskegon Lumberjacks. The opportunity exists to create some sort of cushion with a regulation win, or to relinquish second place overall with a loss. The Fighting Saints battled back from a 3-0 deficit to get a standings point in the shootout loss last night to put themselves in this situation tonight.
HIT THE MILESTONE...Jacks forward Collin Adams has had one heckuva USHL career. His assist last night gave him 100 career points in 97 career games. All but one game for Adams has been played with the Lumberjacks since 2014–15. The New York Islanders prsopect and North Dakota commit has serious goal scoring ability, with 46 goals in his USHL career, and a 16.5% shooting percentage on 278 shots.
THE SECOND TO 20...Colin Theisen is currently in a very exclusive USHL club. He is the second player to hit the 20 goal mark this season, only behind Fargo’s Jack Adams, who got to the mark on January 20. 11 of his 20 goals have come since December 17, a span of 11 games. The Michigan native tallied twice during the Saints’ comeback effort on Friday night.
PK PROBLEMS PERSIST...Muskegon continues to allow a power play goal per game on home ice (76.3%), and that trend continued last night. Quinn Preston’s third-period power play goal put the Fighting Saints within one. Only Cedar Rapids has a worse penalty kill on home ice this season (70.0%). The Saints’ road power play scores over a goal per game (18 in 17 games, 23.4%).
WINNING WAYS...Muskegon and Dubuque are similarly hot teams. The Jacks have won eight of the last nine games. The Saints have taken seven of the last nine, and have standings points in eight of those games. Tonight is the last game of a four-game homestand for the Jacks, of which they have outscored their opponents 12-7. Two games have gone to a shootout.
THE 16-YEAR-OLD SENSATION...Andrei Svechnikov could be a number one draft pick next year. The 16-year-old Russian has six goals in his last six games. He leads the rookie scoring race by six points. He was the World Junior A Challenge’s MVP for Team Russia, who won bronze in the tournament. He scored an astounding 8 goals and 12 points in just four games during the December showcase.
HERE WE GO AGAIN...This season has seemingly been about unbreakable point streaks. After a late scoring change, Cole Guttman’s point streak has been extended to 12 games and counting. During the streak, Guttman has scored 11 goals and 6 assists. The streak has accounted for nearly 59% of his point output on the season, and even while missing a full month of action, he remains 9th in league scoring, 11 points behind the pace set by teammate Zach Solow, whose 40 points lead the league. His goal-per-game rate was snapped in last night’s game, as was his streak of goals in four consecutive games, however, the streak remains alive, and is now nine games behind Jake Guentzel and Mike Erickson’s 21-game Tier I record.